Groot: ‘We Must Learn to See Hidden Value’

Attorney Lonnie Groot likes the balancing act

By DONNA BALANCIA, Contributor LAKE HELEN -- Attorney Lonnie Groot likes the balancing act. Over the years as attorney for various Central Florida municipalities, Groot has always sought to keep the balance between big city growth and small town identity. “There’s a special place in my heart for Seminole County and the surrounding towns,” he said. “The region has been very good to me.” As he looks out over Lake Monroe from the sea wall at Sanford, Groot, who is Of Counsel with Strenstrom McIntosh Colbert Wigham & Partlow PA, can see more than water and a couple of people fishing by the harbor. “It’s a hidden gem, don’t you think?” Groot says. “There is the desire here for Sanford to grow and there’s a lot of potential here.” Groot has a knack to see beyond face value, colleagues, friends and family members say. He likes to get down to the … [Read more...]

The Pro Bono Challenge: Attorneys Balance Time With Intent

By DONNA BALANCIA CENTRAL FLORIDA -- Reports of the death of pro bono work in Florida have been greatly exaggerated, according to those attorneys interviewed by Central Florida Law Journal. "We find that our pro bono initiative helps us in our goal to retain high quality attorneys," said Ed Baxa, chairman of the National Pro Bono Committee for Foley & Lardner LLP. Baxa is based in the firm's Orlando office. "Lawyers are not used to being idle and we work hard to match the skill sets of lawyers to pro bono projects." Foley & Lardner has made great strides over the years in its pro bono initiative. The firm says the increase in the number of attorneys putting in pro bono work has enabled the firm to go from 23,000 hours in 2006 to more than 40,000 in 2008. The goal is 50,000, Baxa said. While Foley & Lardner's success in its pro bono initiative continues to grow, … [Read more...]